Malaysia put seven past Bhutan to end 12-game winless run

Nicolas Anil Nicolas Anil

Malaysia put seven past Bhutan to record their first win in 13 matches at Bukit Jalil Stadium on Sunday night.

Malaysia had a hearty laugh on April Fools’ day after they finally ended a 12-match winless streak with a 7-0 annihilation of Bhutan at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil on Sunday.

Zaquan Adha was the toast of the Harimau Malaya, netting four goals, including a first-half hat-trick.

Wan Zack Haikal, Irfan Zakaria and Syafiq Ahmad also added to the party with the other goals.

In doing so, Tan Cheng Hoe earned his first win as head coach since taking over in December.

The victory was also Malaysia’s biggest in six years, since they trounced Sri Lanka 6-0 in a 2012 friendly.

Bhutan had conceded a staggering 39 goals in their last six games, and their porous defence was about to experience another forgettable 90 minutes.

Wan Zack opened the floodgates after 11 minutes, with a header into the top corner after he met Zaquan’s cross.

Eight minutes later, Zaquan doubled the advantage from the spot after Wan Zack had been fouled in the penalty box.

Posted by Football Association of Malaysia (Official) on Sunday, 1 April 2018


Malaysia’s style had also distinctly improved, as they zipped the ball around with one touch passing and neat intricate play in the final third.

Their landslide possession continued to pay off, with defender Irfan Zakaria making it 3-0 after glancing home Wan Zack’s corner in the 28th minute.

Zaquan completed his hat-trick just before the break, with two finishes in the box to put Malaysia in cruise control at 5-0.

It was the first time in a long time that Malaysia were afforded ample breathing space, and they came out intent on adding to their advantage.

Zaquan notched his fourth goal on the night in the 54th minute after ramming home from close range, the Kuala Lumpur forward celebrating with a huge grin.

It was Syafiq Ahmad’s turn to make it 7-0 in the 77th minute, the forward emulating his goal against Lebanon with another headed goal from a corner.

While this victory over 188th ranked Bhutan may be nothing big to shout about, it certainly sheds the national team in a positive light, having finally discovered how to win.

Their encouraging performance also comes on the back of a gutsy performance in the 2-1 loss to Lebanon last week, and it offers some glimmer of hope for the national team.

Malaysia: Khairul Fahmi Che Mat (GK), Irfan Zakaria, Shahrul Saad, Nazirul Naim (Syazwan Andik 61′), Ariff Farhan, Zaquan Adha (C) (Noor Hakim Hassan 61′), Nazmi Faiz, Akhyar Rashid (Syafiq Ahmad 45′), Wan Zack Haikal, Akram Mahinan, Mahali Jasuli (R.Kogileswaran 61′)

Bhutan: Kinzang Gyeltshen (GK), Yeshi Dorji, Jigme Tshering, Chimi Dorji, Diwash Subba, Orgyen Wangchu, Nima Wangdi, Kencho Tobgay, Biren Basnet, Sonam Tobgay, Dorji